Saturday, October 23, 2010

Illustrator Info: Zig Zaggin'

Okay team, so we covered dotted lines and glyphs. What's next? Well, today's tip is an easy one (hooray), but I thought some beginners might not be so sure how to do it. Get ready to make some zig zag, or wavy, lines!

Again, all screen shots come from Illustrator CS4. I seriously plan on updating to CS5 soon! Also, the screen shots all come from a Mac, but things should be comparable to a PC (just substitute "control" for "command" on a Mac.)

1) Open a new document (Key command: command + n).

2) Create what ever shape you want to use a wavy line with. You could use the pen tool (key command: p) to make a line, the pencil (key command:n) to make a more organic line, you could make a rectangle (key command: m), or a circle (key command: l). Basically, just make what ever want, but it has to have a stroke around it.

For this, I just made a circle, but I gave it a stroke weight of 5 so it'd be easy for you guys to see.
2) Select your circle with the black arrow (key command: v) by clicking on it once. You'll know its selected because a bounding box will appear around it.
3) Okay now we're either going to make a zigzag line or wavy line. Go up to the top and choose Effects > Distort and Transform > Zig Zag
4) The zig zag pop up will come up. If you 'check' the preview box, you'll be able to see the changes as they happen. Move the slider bars for the zig zaggin' to happen. For a zig zag line, make sure the circle at the bottom, under points, is checked for "corner." For a wavy line, make sure the circle at the bottom, under points, is checked for "smooth."5) Click OK.

6) This could be the end, but if you want to edit the individual points of your wavy line. To do this, make sure your shape is selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance.
7) The points of your wavy line will now be editable.

8) Use the white arrow (key command: a) to move your points around to your heart's content!

Told you it was easy! Who loves wavy line? I know you do!

Need more clarification? Any ideas for future posts? Let me know!